Tyson Foods Recalls 12 Million Pounds of Contaminated Chicken

Image: Fox News

The Department of Agriculture (USDA) ordered Tyson Foods to recall nearly 12 million pounds of frozen chicken strips because they may be contaminated with pieces of metal. There were six incidences of consumer complaints of metal in the chicken, three of which resulted in injury.  This greatly expands a prior recall from late March, when the problem first arose, with the USDA characterizing this as a “Class 1″ recall, meaning it involves a “situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.”

  • The products can be traced back to their production between Oct. 1, 2018, and March 8, 2019, and have “Use By Dates” of Oct. 1, 2019, through March 7, 2020, according to the USDA notice, and the number “P-7221” is printed on the back of the product package.
  • The Company says they discontinued use of the specific equipment believed to be associated with the metal fragments, and we install metal-detecting X-ray machinery to replace the plant’s existing metal-detection system.

Meanwhile, on Sunday in Iowa, Presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders rolled out a major plan to revitalize the agriculture sector by (1) leveling the playing field for farmers and farm workers by breaking up large agribusinesses; (2) empowering farmers, ranchers and foresters to address climate change and protect ecosystems; and (3) fostering investment in rural communities.  His plan takes aim at the current system of farm policies and subsidies that benefit the large agribusinesses to the detriment of family farms.   It also includes many of the aspects of the Green New Deal that were most controversial, such as guaranteed education, health care, full employment and an increase in the minimum wage to $15 nationally.  And the plan ensures that the Environmental Protection Agency enforces the Clean Air and Water Acts against large factory farms, and ensures that all farmers have access to tools and resources to help them address agricultural pollution.

Why This Matters: The Sanders proposal is quite comprehensive, with many broad social policies embedded in it — the ones that are the most liberal and controversial with moderate Democrats and Republicans.  While it is aimed at helping small farmers economically, it also contains many policy proposals small farmers are not likely to favor such as addressing pollution from farms and climate change impacts of farming. None of the other Democrats have proposed anything like this for rural farmers or the agriculture sector as of yet.  The rash of food recalls over the last year, and the numerous people made ill by tainted lettuce and contaminated meat should be a warning sign to American consumers.  The lack of enforcement of environmental laws against large agribusinesses and the lack of sufficient safety standards and inspections for agricultural products should concern all of us that the agriculture sector is badly in need of fundamental reforms. 

To Learn More: The USDA published a visual guide and a chart with a list of the affected items.

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